Purchasing livestock can be a complicated process, particularly when it comes to the agreement. Before signing a purchase agreement for livestock, whether commercial or seedstock, there are certain terms that should be included.
For commercial livestock purchase agreements, the following terms should be part of agreement:
- Description of Animals: The type of animal to be purchased and description of the animals should be explicit in agreement.
- Livestock Health: Buyer may want assurances about the health of the animal including breed and fertility, which should be stated in the agreement.
- Payment: The purchase price, method of payment, and schedule of payment should be clearly identified in the agreement.
- Delivery: The method of the delivery of the purchased animals should be included in agreement, including liability for animals during delivery and responsibility for costs of transportation.
- Inspection of Animal: The buyer may wish to include a clause that allows him or her to inspect the animals upon delivery to ensure the animals match the description as stated in agreement and that animals are in good health.
- Insurance: Buyer may want to require that seller have insurance if the animals will be delivered in batches rather than all at once. The insurance can be for injury to or death of livestock due to disease, natural disaster, or accident.
For seedstock sales many breed associations provide suggested sale terms, which are not binding unless parties agree to be bound by them. Some terms that breed associations suggest should be included in agreements are choice of law, health requirements, registration, identification, pedigree, guarantees for fertility/breeding, embryo transfer history, disclosure of genetic defects and other material information, genetic testing, return of animal, and other guarantees such as the development of scurs.
For seedstock sales it is especially important to see what terms are not expressly included in the agreement. For example, the American Simmental Association’s Suggested Sale Terms and Conditions are silent about guarantee for the bull’s semen’s ability to freeze.
Want more information on contracts for the food and agriculture industry? Check out my first book that I co-authored with Pat Dillon, an Iowa agriculture lawyer titled “Field Manual: Legal Guide for New York Farmers and Food Entrepreneurs” available on CreateSpace, Amazon, Kindle and iBooks. You can find out more about this book here. Furthermore, you can check out this extensive outline on common agriculture contracts on my JD Supra page prepared for this Lawline.com presentation.